What is a psychedelic?
Psychedelics are drugs that can induce an altered state, perhaps best described as a dreamlike state, for some number of minutes or hours, depending on the specific psychedelic.
Psychedelics have been used by indigenous people for thousands of years.
Intelligent and creative researchers discovered this indigenous use in the 1950s and 1960s and introduced psychedelics to a tight community of psychotherapists and psychiatrists who found that these tools were very useful.
Psychedelics then entered the popular culture, and were made illegal.
Psychedelic research is now approaching a renaissance.
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a common recreational drug. It is also commonly known as acid. LSD is usually consumed on small pieces of paper called blotter.
LSD has been taken by about 25 million Americans at least once, and 1.5 million Americans in the past year, based on 2015 numbers.
We do not endorse the acquisition and use of illegal drugs. If you make the choice to use psychedelic drugs, please do your research.
Is acid the same as LSD?
Sort of. Acid is a street name for LSD, and LSD is a chemical compound. Unfortunately, not all substances sold as “acid” or “LSD” contain just the pure LSD compound. Pure acid would contain 100% LSD. We will try to use the term LSD in this guide, instead of acid.
Is LSD (acid) safe?
LSD is relatively safe if it pure LSD, and if you have a trusted and experienced guide who can prevent any risk of harming yourself or others due to intoxication.
“Hallucinogens generally possess relatively low physiological toxicity, and have not been shown to result in organ damage or neuropsychological deficits (Strassman, 1984; Gable, 1993, 2004; Halpern and Pope, 1999; Hasler, et al., 2004; Nichols, 2004; Halpern, et al., 2005).”
LSD has been taken by about 25 million Americans at least once, and 1.5 million Americans in the past year, based on 2015 numbers.This 2008 paper noted that “there have been no documented human deaths from an LSD overdose.”6
“Since the early 1990s, approximately 2000 doses of psilocybin (ranging from low to high doses) have been safely administered to humans in the United States and Europe, in carefully controlled scientific settings, with no reports of any medical or psychiatric serious AEs, including no reported cases of prolonged psychosis or HPPD (Studerus et al., 2011).” Psilocybin is not the same as LSD, though we should expect an extremely similar dosage dependent safety profile.
“This finding is consistent with a US population (2001–2004 data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health) based study that found no associations between lifetime use of any of the serotoninergic psychedelics (including psilocybin) and increased rates of mental illness (Krebs and Johansen, 2013).”
“The incidence of risky behavior or enduring psychological distress is extremely low when psilocybin is given in laboratory studies to screened, prepared, and supported participants.”
“There is no evidence of such potential neurotoxic effects with the prototypical classical hallucinogens (i.e. LSD, mescaline and psilocybin).”
“Cohen (1960) reported that only a single case of a psychotic reaction lasting more than 48 hours occurred in 1200 experimental (non-patient) research participants (a rate of 0.8 per 1000). Notably, the individual was an identical twin of a schizophrenic patient and thus would have been excluded under the proposed guidelines.” The key methods to minimize this risk are the medical condition guidlines below.
Acid was ranked as the third safest drug by Nutt et al. All drugs can still be harmful under certain circumstances.
What are the effects of LSD (acid)?
This assumes pure acid, i.e. 100% LSD.
Acid feels like “seeing the world for the first time,” with stimulated and profound seeming thoughts, and sort of a dreamlike feeling.12 Hallucinations also exist, though it would be more accurate to think of them as visual distortions – i.e. seeing extra patterns in the grass, a photo of a waterfall might look like the water is moving when it’s actually not – but don’t think of it as you’ll be seeing green leprechauns that will talk to you.
See the first few images on this page for an accurate depiction of low to moderate acid dosage visual effects.